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New gifts to support lecture series, UGA student athletes

  |   Kathryn Kao   |   Permalink   |   Giving,   News Release,   Spotlight,   Students and Faculty

The University of Georgia recently received two gifts from alumnus Jimmy DeLoach Jr. (B.S.Ed. '82), president of the Abbie DeLoach Foundation (ADF) and vice president of Tidewater Landscape Management; his wife Maria; and his younger daughter Anna DeLoach (B.S.H.P. '18).

The gifts will support a new lecture series in the Mary Frances Early College of Education and provide scholarships for student athletes at the University.

"We are proud to support UGA students in the name and memory of my late daughter Abbie," said Jimmy DeLoach. "I come from a long line of educators who instilled in me that education is a gift to us as individuals, families and communities. It is an honor to provide these opportunities for ambitious students to achieve more in their lives and to help make a difference for others through education."

The first gift of $50,000 will establish the Abbie DeLoach Memorial Lectureship Fund in the College of Education to support an annual lecture series focused on current topics or research related to health and well-being, athletics and outreach in the community and abroad—all core values of the Abbie DeLoach Foundation.

The second gift of $200,000 will establish the Abbie DeLoach Memorial Athletic Scholarship Fund to provide scholarship support for UGA student athletes who excel in the classroom, on the playing field and in the community and who demonstrate commitment to the University and its athletic programs.

"I am grateful for Jimmy DeLoach and his family's consistent and continued support of student athletes and undergraduate students in the College," said Denise A. Spangler, dean of the UGA Mary Frances Early College of Education. "Their gifts will not only provide scholarship support for student athletes, but will also help encourage all students, athlete or not, to explore the fields of health and well-being."

In 2019, ADF also created the Abbie DeLoach Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship in the Mary Frances Early College of Education to support undergraduate students pursuing majors in health and physical education, exercise and sport science or sport management.

Several members of Jimmy DeLoach's family attended or graduated from UGA, including his daughter Anna DeLoach, uncle Leroy Rodgers ('56), and sisters Pam (DeLoach) Huff ('76) and Patty (DeLoach) Onorato ('82). While at UGA, Jimmy DeLoach was a student athlete who played on the UGA football team.

The Abbie DeLoach Foundation is named for Abbie DeLoach, a native of Savannah, Georgia, who was one of five Georgia Southern University nursing students tragically killed in a tractor-trailer collision on April 22, 2015.

In 2016, Abbie's father, Jimmy DeLoach Jr., established the foundation as a charitable organization, which has presented over $1.25 million in scholarships reflecting the qualities that exemplified her life—a love of nursing, education, athleticism and world missions.

To date, ADF has awarded 34 medical scholarships and 16 student athlete scholarships to continue Abbie's generosity, academic and athletic achievement, legacy of selfless service to others and compassion for all.

Please visit the Abbie DeLoach Foundation website for more information.

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